See this item from last week’s March 12 NYC Principals Weekly:
The Public School Choice (PSC) program offers students enrolled in schools identified by NYSED as Comprehensive Support & Improvement (CSI) schools, the opportunity to apply for a transfer to a higher performing public school. This transfer program is required under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. [emphasis mine] Principals of sending schools (i.e., CSI-designated schools), received an email about their status in January from firstname.lastname@example.org. Principals of receiving schools (i.e., schools with non-CSI status that may be eligible to accept PSC transfer students), should have received an email from email@example.com on March 5, with the number of seats identified for PSC transferring students in September, for the 2019–20 school year. If you are the principal of a receiving school, you can also use the link that will be provided in the email, to review and give feedback on identified seats at your school by March 29.
For more information, please visit the PSC website. For questions about the PSC program, email Arnab Banerjee
Yet the sentence in bold is completely untrue. Neither the federal government nor the state require DOE to offer transfers to kids in CSI schools, which in many cases can be begin a death spiral for these schools as they lose students and funding.
In fact, unlike NCLB, ESSA left the decision up to states as to whether to require districts to offer “Public school choice” i.e. encourage parents to transfer their students out of CSI schools. See this memo:
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA… allows states to exercise flexibility in granting NCLB transfers for students enrolled in schools in PI [program improvement] status. Two guidance letters sent out by the U.S. Department of Education, in January and February 2016, respectively, explain states’ new flexibility under ESSA, under which states can determine not to require local educational agencies (LEAs) to offer public school choice transfers.
Most states including California did not include transfer options at all in their ESSA plans though New York did – but only by the fourth year of a school’s CSI status. NY’s ESSA plan said that if a school’s CSI index declined for two years in a row, a district would have to offer parents “choice” after that point. Before the fourth year, the state leaves it up to the district to decide whether to offer “choice."
… New York State will make Public School Choice an option, but not a requirement, for any district with a CSI school, when the district believes that Public School Choice will support stronger outcomes for students and for CSI schools. In districts offering Public School Choice, a parent of a student attending a CSI school may request a transfer to a school classified as In Good Standing. …, in any instances in which the Achievement Index of a CSI school declines for two consecutive years, public school choice will no longer be an option, but, instead, will be a requirement, and the district must offer Public School Choice for parents of students attending that specific CSI school.
This is the first year of CSI designations so no transfer option is required by the state, and certainly not the feds. Yet here is the letter sent to parents this week in at least two schools – wrongly calling them “among the lowest performing statewide” based on an unreliable formula that counts opt out students as having failed the state exams.
CM Treyger described how the stigma of being identified as a Renewal school hurt these schools chance of improvement. Let's hope that the Chancellor reverses this unwise decision to label these schools as "low-performing" and stops encouraging parents to take their kids out of them before its too late.